Faculty often wonder how to assist students with academic concerns in their classes.  This includes:

  • Students not showing up or who show up sporadically
  • Students performing poorly or whose performance is irregular
  • Students failing to communicate absences
  • Students who seem disorganized

Below, we’ve included a few tips and resources for working with academically under-performing students:

1. Attempt to connect with the student: Send them a note to meet during office hours or before class begins.

  • Share your observations and ask for their feedback on their performance.  (NOTE: for tips and a script on how to speak with students, click here.)

2. Share resources – either in person or over email and strongly encourage a connection:

  • Highlight important options that can assist with organization, study skills, and content knowledge:
    • Learning Assistance Tutors (free) can help students prepare for classes, organize their assignments, manage time, and find new study paths.
    • Content tutors (free, drop-in and by appointment)) can assist with specific study tips for your class, can review important concepts, and assist the student in working through difficult problems (using examples).
  • Encourage use of other resources based on unique circumstances:
    • For students who disclose a disability (medical/mental health), strongly encourage them to connect with Disability Resources.  Classroom accommodations can assist in creating an equitable classroom environment for the student.
    • For students experiencing anxiety or other mental health needs, encourage regular connection with a counselor. Elon offers as-needed TimelyCare virtual appointments and in-person counseling through Counseling Services.

3.  Share your observations using an e-warning:

  • E-warnings are reviewed by advisors who can assist in connecting with the student.  Students receive a copy that includes a summary of the resources above.  (NOTE: for information on how to submit an e-warning, click here).
  • In addition to advisors, e-warnings are routinely assessed for patterns – thus student with more e-warnings get noticed and outreach can occur.  Without e-warnings, there is no basis to know if a student might need individualized outreach.
  • While some faculty share concerns that an e-warning feels too formal, we strongly recommend faculty submit e-warnings as often as possible when concerns arise.

4. Know when to suggest a course withdraw or medical leave: